Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning look at the past, present and future of the Human Rocket in “Nova” Annual No. 1.
Infected by the techno-organic transmode virus, Richard Rider, the last surviving member of the Nova Corps, has been searching for Kvch, the lost homeworld of the creators of the Phalanx.
As the issue begins, readers are taken back in Nova’s timeline — to the point at which Richard Rider’s story began, 1976′s “Nova” No. 1. This updated version, drawn by Mahmud A. Asrar (“Dynamo 5″) shows Richard’s humiliation at the hands of a bully, after which, he heads to the ice cream shop. It’s there that he’s hit by the lightning bolt that gives him the powers of the Nova Force. (Also providing art for this issue: Klebs and Wellinton Alves.)
But the issue isn’t simply a modernization of the first Nova story. It’s also a look at the (possible) future of Nova, in a story that recalls “All Good Things” from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
If you haven’t been reading “Nova,” this first annual will get you up to speed on the character’s history and recent adventures. While the issue is readable and enjoyable on its own, hints to the “Annihilation: Conquest” story, as Marvel’s cosmic heroes tackle the Phalanx, are throughout.
Despite the three artists, and the three storylines, the look is consistent and the story flows well. The coloring creates the main shift between the past, present and future, with each time having its own feel based on the hues selected.
The concept behind the story does seem to have a “Trek” influence, but it still makes for an entertaining tale that provides new reasoning behind Richard Rider’s selection as Nova.
– Matt Price